+
upworthy
Most Shared

Read the inspiring letter a fan sent actor Jack Falahee for playing a gay character on TV.

"How to Get Away With Murder" is just as provocative and sinful as its name suggests.

The TV series on ABC — often dubbed "HTGAWM" by fans — follows powerhouse lawyer Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) and her crew of cutthroat Philadelphia law students. Its story lines are laced with twists, turns, and a good amount of fake blood.

The cast of "How to Get Away With Murder." Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards.


Hidden in the scandalous depths of each episode, however, is an often overlooked reality: "HTGAWM" is a significant show.  

It boasts a diverse cast led by the award-winning Davis, who's one of few women of color leading a prime-time series.

"The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity,"Davis said on stage last year at the Emmys, quoting Harriet Tubman while accepting her award for best actress in a drama series.

She's the first black woman ever to win that category.

Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images.

But the show's diversity extends far beyond Davis. And the power of that inclusiveness surfaced in a recent fan letter to actor Jack Falahee.

The show's ensemble features two gay characters, Connor — played by Falahee — and Oliver — played by Conrad Ricamora.

In an Instagram post from Oct. 13, 2016, Falahee shared a "really lovely letter" sent to him from a fan around National Coming Out Day, earlier in the week.

On Tuesday I had the pleasure of seeing how many of my LGBTQ friends and fans were celebrating on Coming Out Day. Some folks told the story of how they came out. Some stories were sad, some were joyous. All of their stories were courageous and beautiful. A fan, who will remain anonymous to protect their identity, sent me a really lovely letter that included this passage about how seeing Connor and Oliver on screen has helped them navigate their coming out. It really resonated with me. I wanted to take this moment to thank that person publicly, but also to thank all of you. Knowing that Connor and Oliver have, in a small way, helped some of you find a voice is truly humbling to hear. And it makes me really happy. So, thank you. If you're looking for some more info on navigating your own coming out, I encourage you to check out "Coming Out As You" at thetrevorproject.org

A photo posted by Jack Falahee (@jackfalahee) on

A portion of the letter (emphasis added):

"I wanted to thank you for the way you are representing a openly gay character in such a huge show. Connor became a role model to me since he never sees his sexual orientation as a flaw and instead is open and proud of it. I think Connor's relationship to Oliver shows a lot of people around the globe that a same-sex relationship can be as loving and complicated — there is no difference. This gave me so much hope and strength because I did no longer feel there is anything wrong with me. After watching Connor and Oliver developing as a couple I gained confidence and felt a lot better about myself. I even started to tell my family and friends that I am gay."

For Falahee, the letter truly tugged at the heartstrings.

"Knowing that Connor and Oliver have, in a small way, helped some of you find a voice is truly humbling to hear," he wrote in the caption. "And it makes me really happy. So, thank you."

Conrad Ricamora (left) and Jack Falahee. Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Point Foundation.

"Although it still was a scary thing to do, I don't think I ever would have been brave enough to [come out as gay] if it was not for you and the way you play Connor," Falahee's fan wrote. "So, although I unfortunately do not know you personally, I feel like I owe you a lot."

It's critical that we see some version of ourselves on our TV screens because it helps empower us to be who we are.

When South Asian actor Aziz Ansari blasted through barriers to create his own hit TV series, "Master of None," it mattered. When Sam Esmail, creator of "Mr. Robot," thanked his family on stage at the Golden Globes by simply saying "shukran" ("thank you" in Arabic), it mattered.

And when a young Leslie Jones discovered Whoopi Goldberg, it mattered.

"The day I saw Whoopi Goldberg on television, I cried so hard," Jones said on "The View" in July 2016. "Because I kept looking at my daddy going, 'Oh my god! There's somebody on TV who looks like me! She looks like me! Daddy! I can be on TV. I can be on TV. '"

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

"HTGAWM" fans probably aren't learning how, exactly, they can get away with murder. But they are learning how to be themselves.

And I think we can all agree that's a much better takeaway.

Prepare to get Thatcherized.

It seems that Adele is going viral once again.

Perhaps you’ve seen the image in question previously (it seems to make the rounds every couple of years). But in case you missed it—it’s Adele’s face. Normal, just upside down.

Only it’s not normal. In fact, when you turn Adele’s face right side up, what you notice is that her eyes and mouth were actually right-side up THE ENTIRE TIME, even though the entire head was upside down. So when you turn the head right side up, the eyes and mouth are now UPSIDE-DOWN—and you can’t unsee it. Do you feel like you're Alice in Wonderland yet?

Keep ReadingShow less

Taylor Swift at 2022 Toronto International Film Festival Red Carpet Day 2.

The wordsmiths over at Merriam-Webster have announced their official “Word of the Year for 2023,” they say it’s something we are “thinking about, writing about, aspiring to, and judging more” than ever.

The word is authentic.

According to the dictionary, the most common definitions of authentic are “not false or imitation,” “being true to one's own personality, spirit, or character,” and “worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact.”

Merriam-Webster says the word saw a “substantial increase” in lookups this year. That’s probably because we now live in a world where artificial intelligence, deepfake technology and questionable memes challenge our basic notions of reality.

Keep ReadingShow less

The gaze of the approving Boomer.

Over the past few years, Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964) have been getting a lot of grief from the generations that came after them, Gen X (1965 to 1980), Millenials (1981 to 1996), and now, Gen Z (1997 to 2012). Their grievances include environmental destruction, wealth hoarding, political polarization, and being judgemental when they don’t understand how hard it is for younger people to make it in America these days.

Every Baby Boomer is different, so it's wrong to paint them all with a broad brush. But it’s undeniable that each generation shares common values, and some are bound to come into conflict.

However, life in 2023 isn’t without its annoyances. Many that came about after the technological revolution put a phone in everyone’s hands and brought a whole new host of problems. Add the younger generations' hands-on approach to child rearing and penchant for outrage, and a lot of moden life has become insufferanble.

Keep ReadingShow less
Humor

Iliza Schlesinger's hilarious rant just might unite Gen Zers and millennials

The 40-year-old comedian begs for the younger generation to cut millennials some slack.

@ilizas/TikTok

Comedian iliza Schlesinger urges Gen Z to be nicer to millennials.

Generational differences have long been the bread and butter of TikTok humor, but lately, millennials have been a prime target for their younger Gen Z counterparts.

Clips of Gen Zers mocking stereotypical millennial behavior, otherwise known as “millennial core” is particularly popular—everything from a millennial’s affinity for skinny jeans and self-deprecating humor to their love of the word “adulting” is current fodder for ridicule.

Things have gotten so heated that millennials have, as the kids say, begun serving clapbacks—accusing Gen Zers of acting superior, nihilistic and completely disconnected due to their over-reliance on social media.

But earlier this month, comedian and self-described “elder millennial” Iliza Schlesinger went viral for her rallying cry for both generations to unite. It’s a delightful blend of unhinged and insightful that Schlesinger has truly mastered.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

New England mall's ingenious ‘Santa elevator' is a child’s Christmas fantasy come true

Natick Mall takes Santa visits to a whole other level with its magical "elevator" to the North Pole.

Visiting Santa at the Natick Mall is an otherworldly experience.

Visiting Santa Claus at the mall is a holiday tradition for countless American families, and it's usually a similar setup no matter where you go. You find the big display with the big Christmas decor, step into a long line of parents and kids ranging from giddy to terrified, wait for Santa's helper dressed in an elf costume to say it's your turn, then take pics of your kid telling a stranger in a Santa suit what they want for Christmas in an effort to give your kids a taste of holiday wonder.

But one mall in Massachusetts has upped the mall Santa bar so far it's above the clouds—literally.

The Natick Mall's "Magic Elevator Express" takes visiting Santa to a whole other magical level that even the Grinchiest of grownups can appreciate. And the idea is so brilliantly simple, it could be replicated just about anywhere.

Keep ReadingShow less

A TikTok post about McDonald's prices and President Joe Biden speaking with attendees at the Moving America Forward Forum.

Sometimes, there are images that perfectly encapsulate a moment in time. In December 2022, a viral TikTok video featuring a burger meal at McDonald's that cost a whopping $16.10 went viral, and to many Americans struggling through inflation, the image rang true.

Topher Olive posted the TikTok video on December 10, 2022, showing a burger, large fries, and a large Coke that cost $16.10.

The price of a value meal at McDonald’s is something that every American understands. The Economist even uses the Big Mac sandwich as a tongue-in-cheek way of measuring the purchasing power between countries.

Surely, if a McDonald’s burger meal was becoming too expensive for the average American to eat for lunch every day, then the country must be headed in a disastrous direction. The image was the perfect weapon for those looking to blame President Biden for his handling of the economy in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep ReadingShow less